Critics of Dr. Ssa Francesca Ruggiero
The art of Rosario Marra varies from classic two-dimensional canvas oil painting, traditional sculpture and material compositions assembled on canvas where objects in metal or wood emerge from the surface creating a three-dimensional effect with a very incisive perspective. This result is strengthened further by Marra’s use of bright and full bodied hues. Colour is the main element of his work which narrates neither a specific subject nor story but leaving solely the chromatic material to communicate with.
In Principio di Matera, for example, the blue-violet background, made vibrant by Marra’s broad and fleeting strokes, contrasts with the full-bodied and almost material colour used in the foreground arousing in the viewer an almost childlike curiosity. The colours, which seem drawn by some external magnetic force, join together towards the centre of the canvas, creating an embryonic composition of whites, reds, oranges, blues and greens.
In Aria di Seta, the forceful use of colour gives way to a sensation of lightness created by his use of fresh, delicate semicircular brush strokes. Overlapping whites and oranges are set over a soft red background, reminicing silk threads blown by a light breeze gently caressing our face. The translucency of the colours are created by the near transparent brush strokes combined with vivid shades that illuminate the painting giving it a sense of joy. Gioia di Aprile leaves us with the same perception, our attention falls on the red, blue and brown spots intertwined with fringes and circles of the same tones, this network of entwined colours and shapes instill in us images of spring when new life starts to bloom after the long winter slumber.
The same effect can be found in Occhi nel Viola, where a collection of purple and black eyes seem to be silently observing the viewer amidst a range of reds, oranges and blues. Marra’s perogative is to create an emotional interaction between the viewer and the canvas.
Imagination and fantasy are key to appreciating the exoticism of Bramosia, where Marra through his use of luminous yellows, reds and blues tossed casually on the canvas, outline the delicate profile of an isolated landscape, a place where tranquility and happiness can finally be found. This inner serenity can also be found in Westerdok, a view of a neighborhood in Amsterdan and in Stilleave, a still life composition of pipes and a coffee pot. In these two paintings, Marra has reacquired his desire to depict a subject, which, although with no apparent perspective, fulfil a form of photographic purity and clarity through chromatic scanning and captures those idyllic moments which everyday life can so often cruelly deprive us of.
The sensation of evil and cruelty which in humanity often co-exist appears in many of Marra’s paintings and sculptures. His goal is to help us to not fear these sensations, this can be experienced with his canvas and metal creations Ferro e Fuoco and Scorpione. The sculpture Stupro and ceramic Rinascita di un Anemone express how to overcome acts of evil.
In Ferro e Fuoco, the evil that Marra wants to highlight is that of a distant and controllable threat. The colour red and the metallic elements come together to resemble red hot embers which invite us to retreat into our personal safety zone. The same frightening and plausible danger can be seen in Scorpio, where the crude giant nails set into a fiery red background, lose their threatening aggressivety and appear not only harmless but as an element that can be admired for it’s pure force. Rinascita di un anemone portrays a consumated evil where the black glazed ceramic represents a petrolium invaded sea, a lifeless scenario which is brought back to life by the inclusion of two small red spots representing the birth of Anemone. In this work Marra expresses his immense love for both life and the power of regeneration.
The terracotta Stupro illutrates the brutal act of a male figure who, despite his obvious physical strength, is defined as an empty element. The female, through her soft curves and full forms, transmits the force of fertility and life.
Marra gives the viewer a sense of hope obtained through the ability to distinguish between right from wrong, this concept is tackled in his most metaphysical work, Coscienza. The painting’s main focal point is that of the somber red figure of a man holding his head within his hands. The man’s sense of solitude and suffering strikes us initially but then, through the blue skies in the background, this painting shows us the infinite possibilities life has to offer if only the man was consious of it’s potential. So, yet again, as in all of Marra’s work, we find a message of hope and trust which can be felt not only through his creations but also in our inner souls.
Dr.Ssa Francesca Ruggiero
Oil on canvas 80x100 cm.
Spatula, oil on canvas 100x100 cm.
Oil n canvas,100x100cm
Ceramica smaltata - glazed ceramic
Oil on canvas 100x100 cm-